She's having a baby ... for another couple; Illinois mom starts surrogacy journey

"To be able to do this for somebody so that they can have that same love for somebody, that's the whole reason you're doing this."

Megan Lynch
July 01, 2019 - 12:15 am

WOOD RIVER, Ill. (KMOX) — An Illinois mom decides to carry a child for a couple she met just weeks ago.

"They can't have a child and I have one. I don't know what my life would be like without Cam. And to be able to do this for somebody so that they can have that same love for somebody, that's the whole reason you're doing this." That's why Erica Chalcraft is confident she'll be able to give up a child she carries for nine months.

Erica applied to become a surrogate earlier this year. 

It's something she's been considering since she had her son Cam. He just turned 9. 

"I had a very, very easy pregnancy with him, I had a super easy delivery, and that's another reason I wanted to do this. I figured if it was so good the first time, why not do this again. And I loved being pregnant."

Her family and friends have had a lot of questions about her decision. 

Erica told her mom months ago she wanted to be a surrogate, but didn't tell her when she applied. "So I actually told my mom the day that I found out I got accepted. She wasn't angry when I told her, but she went into mom mode and was worried — (making) sure everything was going to be okay and that nothing was going to happen to me."

With her son Cam, she waited a little longer. "I told him probably about a week after I found out, after the couple was already set and everything, because I wanted to make sure this was 100% going to happen before I tried to explain it to an 8 year old. His two biggest questions were, 'is this going to be like a brother or sister to me?' so I explained to him that there's no relation. And then I explained to him that we also were not keeping this baby. So just kind of getting him to understand that. He's totally on board with it, he thinks this is so cool."

For her boyfriend of two years ... "My boyfriend thinks I'm totally crazy for doing this, but he said 'I think this is really cool that you're doing this, I'm not going to stop you from doing it, but I think it's really weird you have to work with me here," Erica laughed. "But it's going to be one of those things where you're going to be out in public and you have to get used to people saying 'Oh you're having a baby!' and well no, it's not his and then wait, it's not mine either!"

Due to privacy rules, Erica can't say much about the couple, except that they live on the West Coast. She chose them from a list she was given by the surrogacy agency. They met earlier this spring and talk frequently by phone. While they share the joy, they've also had to talk risks and what-ifs. 

"We've discussed a lot of things, a lot of hard questions like what if something were to happen to me, or what if something ... what if there would be something wrong with the baby and they would have to make that decision that they want to terminate the pregnancy or not."

If all goes as planned, Erica will soon travel to a fertility clinic for the embryo transfer. She should know a couple weeks afterward if the procedure is successful. 

While she'll only carry a child for nine months, Erica believes there will always be a connection.

"They will always be in my life," she said. "I'll always get to see updates through Facebook or Instagram or whatever, texting and calling. We kind of joked around about taking family vacations in the future, so we will always have contact."

KMOX plans to follow Erica through her surrogacy journey.

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